Craving a hot comfort food appetizer? Our garbage bread recipe with gooey cheese and pepperoni wrapped in homemade pizza dough and baked until melty and golden is the answer!
What do you need to make this cheesy pepperoni garbage bread? There are not a lot of ingredients, so grab them and let's get cooking! Let's discuss the key ingredients in this recipe.
- Bread Flour: It's best to use this type of flour for pizza dough since it has a higher protein content than all-purpose. It will make the pizza dough chewier and will help it rise better.
- Yeast: Use instant or active dry in this recipe. If you're using active dry, you'll need to bloom it first in warm water and sugar until it's foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Cheese: I used a blend of mozzarella and extra sharp cheddar for a melty, gooey texture and lots of flavors.
- Pepperoni: Use your favorite type of pepperoni. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try various Italian deli meats instead when making garbage bread.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
You can use almost any filling you would like to make garbage bread. We prefer pizza toppings inside, but here are some other ideas.
- Cheeseburger: browned hamburger, ketchup, mustard, onions, and grated cheddar cheese
- Philly Cheesesteak: thinly sliced beef steak with sautéed onions and provolone
- Sloppy Joe: sloppy joe filling with extra sharp cheddar
- Loaded Pizza: sausage crumbles, red onion, green pepper, sautéed mushrooms, mozzarella cheese
- Muffaletta: olive salad, mortadella, sopressata, and sliced provolone
- Ham and Cheese: sliced honey ham, Dijon mustard, sliced provolone
How to Make
Gather the ingredients for our garbage bread recipe: bread flour, olive oil, yeast, salt, sugar, and water.
- Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Stir each one in with your finger.
- Stir in the sugar and add the olive oil, then pour in half of the water and stir to form the dough. Gradually add more water and keep mixing until a somewhat sticky dough has formed. You may not need all of the water, depending upon the humidity of the room and the brand of flour used.
3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is quite smooth and no longer sticky. Use the windowpane test to check if the dough is kneaded enough. (See the recipe card below for an explanation of this technique.)
4. Let the dough for garbage bread rise until at least doubled in size, about 1 hour.
5. Punch down the dough and roll it out to a large rectangle. Spread the tomato sauce on top, leaving a border of one or two inches. Sprinkle with black pepper and Italian seasoning if desired.
Sprinkle the grated cheese and chopped basil on top. Top with pepperoni slices.
6. Roll up from the long edge and pinch the seam and ends to seal. Place the garbage bread roll on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, trimming off the excess paper. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise until springy to the touch, about 40 minutes.
7. Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, until the internal temperature is at least 190°F. Let it cool for 40 minutes on a wire rack.
8. Slice and serve the garbage bread and enjoy!
Essentially they are the same thing, a pizza dough rolled with a variety of ingredients. However, garbage bread is a popular party food using leftover ingredients, hence the name "garbage". The most popular fillings are cheeseburgers, Philly cheesesteak, and pizza.
First, roll out the dough to a large rectangle and spread the filling on top.
Start rolling with the long edge of the rectangle that's closest to you and fold over the long edge by about an inch. Continue rolling it up as tightly as you can and finally pinch the seam and ends firmly to keep the filling sealed inside.
No, like garbage bread, stromboli is rolled whereas a calzone is shaped more like a turnover.
Fold over about 1 to 1 ½ inches of dough at one end of the rolled out dough, then start rolling it up tightly. Go slowly to make sure the filling doesn't spill out, then pinch the ends and the seam to seal in the filling.
- Make ahead: Prepare the garbage bread recipe and let the dough prove the first time, roll it up with the filling, freeze for 10 hours, then wrap in foil and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to cook, defrost overnight in the fridge, then let it do its second prove in a warm place before baking.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to five days and then reheat them to serve again. You can slice the leftovers if it makes it easier for storage.
- Reheat: To reheat in the oven, wrap the loaf in foil and bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes. You can also reheat individual slices in the microwave for 40 seconds on high or in a skillet over medium heat until warm and melty.
- Freezer: Let the baked loaf cool completely, then cut into slices for convenience if desired. Place in a freezer zip-top bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge or in the microwave.
- Don't use all-purpose flour. It has a lower protein content, which will reduce the rise and chewiness of the garbage bread dough.
- Need to clean out the fridge? Use whatever you like in the filling to make garbage bread.
- Seal the loaf tightly to prevent splits and leakage when it bakes.
- Use a cookie sheet with a rim to catch any leaks as it bakes.
- Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving to allow it to set a little.
More Fun and Tasty Appetizers You'll Love
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Garbage Bread Recipe
For the Pizza Dough
For the Filling
- 6 ounces pepperoni
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 ½ cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce with garlic, basil, and oregano
- 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper or Italian seasoning, to taste
Making the Pizza Dough (25 min + 1 hr proving)
- Place the bread flour in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, then stir each one in with your finger. Mix in the sugar.
- Pour in the olive oil and half of the water, then begin to mix with your fingers. Keep stirring and crushing the mixture, gradually adding more water as needed, until a somewhat sticky dough has formed. Make sure all of the flour has been picked up from the bottom of the bowl.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until it is very smooth and no longer leaves a sticky residue on your hands or the work surface.
- Use the windowpane test to see if the dough is sufficiently kneaded. Break off a piece and stretch it with your fingers until it's translucent. It should be able to stretch to translucency without breaking; if it breaks, knead for a minute longer and check again.
- Pour a little olive oil into a mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and turn it in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it prove in a warm place until at least doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Shaping (25 min + 40 min proving)
- Grate the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and refrigerate until needed. Rinse, pat dry, and finely chop a few basil leaves.
- Punch down the risen dough to remove the air pockets, then roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 11x17 inches.
- Spread the dough with the tomato sauce, leaving a 1-2 inch border all the way around. Sprinkle with black pepper, Italian seasoning, and chopped fresh basil. Scatter the grated cheeses on top, then lay the pepperoni slices on top.
- Starting from the long side of the rectangle closest to you, begin rolling the dough into a log. Go slowly and try to keep the roll as tight as possible. Firmly pinch the seam and ends to seal.
- Place the log on a rimmed 11x17-inch cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let it prove in a warm place until the dough springs back quickly when prodded with a fingertip, about 40 minutes.
Baking (25 min baking + 40 min cooling)
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Start the oven about 10 minutes before the bread is done proving.
- Watch the loaf as it bakes; some of the cheese may leak out of the bread if it cracks in the oven. Check to see if it's baked by inserting a thermometer into the center of the loaf; it should read at least 190 F.
- Let the garbage bread cool for 40 minutes on a wire cooling rack, then slice and serve plain or with marinara dipping sauce. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3-5 days.
- Always use bread flour. All-purpose flour has a lower protein content, which means that the dough won't rise as high or be as chewy.
- Change up the filling as desired. Feel free to use up whatever is in your fridge. Other filling ideas are mushrooms, onions, peppers, sausage, or olives.
- Pinch the seam and ends tightly. This will help the filling not to leak out as the loaf bakes.
- Bake it on a rimmed cookie sheet. The bread can crack as it bakes, causing melted cheese and grease to leak out. Using a rimmed baking tray keeps the grease from causing an oven fire.
- Be sure to let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. It's extremely hot inside!
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
Our garbage bread recipe was originally published on Feb. 13, 2020.